Me and My Family: A book for adopted children and their families to get to know each other ISBN: 9781907585371
Maye, Jean
Published by British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), 2011
This might be termed a scrapbook, to be filled in and enjoyed by all the members of a family with an about-to-be adopted child. In a quote from an accompanying handout, we are told: 'the most important thing about this book is that it speaks to the child, involves the child and belongs to the child.' The first part is to be filled in by the prospective adopters before they even meet the child, with some questions to be filled in by the child him or herself. There are places for pictures of the home, the family, and the family pets, as well as information about the local area, etc. There is a diary for the child to fill in with dates and times of meeting various members of the family, and a space to indicate what these introductions felt like. The child can explain what he would like to bring to the new home, and can ask questions about the move beforehand. There is also a place for filling in names and addresses of people he or she would like to stay in touch with. The second part, Getting to Know Each Other, emphasises the settling in process, and at this point the book has become the child's own. While the child may offer to let other members of the family contribute to the book, it will be his or her decision to do so. Younger children will still need help at this point, but that can be provided sensitively. Part 3 is 'Living Together' and builds on the previous sections. Likes and dislikes, impressions of the new school, new hobbies, exciting days as a family, sad days, favourite poems or songs - all are included and can be filled in at will, or maybe not if the child decides otherwise.
This book is a very good idea that should make the whole process of settling in with a new family a happier and easier process for all concerned. It is available from: BAAF Publications, Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS or from www.baaf.org.uk.
Age: 5+